Tori’s Story: Tacky Take On Family Affairs
The country’s celebration of dreck and bad taste reaches a new low today: Tori Spelling is on the cover of Us Weekly, a mere five days after the death of her father, beloved TV producer Aaron Spelling.
Think about this: Aaron Spelling passed away on Friday night, June 23. Tori would have had to have given her interview by Monday at the latest in order to make Us’ printing schedule. The funeral was on Sunday. Creepy does not even begin to describe what this girl has done.
Ostensibly, Tori’s appearance is designed to destroy her mother, Candy, with whom she has been feuding for no apparent reason. Even Fallon Carrington, one of Aaron Spelling’s most self-centered creations, wouldn’t have gone this far.
I am told there are several discrepancies in Tori’s story, but an inside source familiar with the Spellings’ family crises has been very clear: According to this person, Tori did not attend her father’s burial. Further, this source insists, she had not seen him in months. The latter assertion has been confirmed all the way around.
It’s already well-documented that when Aaron Spelling had a stroke on June 18 — ironically, Father’s Day — Tori was in Toronto with her second husband, Dean McDermott.
Did she rush home to the bedside of her 83-year-old dad? No.
At the same time, the Spellings who were home knew how gravely ill Aaron was: according to my sources, Candy was already making plans for her husband’s funeral on Monday the 19th. When Spelling died, a press release was issued stating that his wife Candy and son Randy were at his side. There was no sign of Tori.
Tori insists in the Us Weekly piece that she came home for the funeral. She also says she visited her father on June 11 in Los Angeles. My source disputes this, but Tori’s publicist Kevin Sasaki says she was in attendance.
Either way, there’s something fishy here about a young woman whose father gift-wrapped her fame with a spot on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” It’s fame she would not have had otherwise. This girl is not an actress. She is no Meryl Streep. She isn’t even Lindsay Lohan. She was simply born into the right mansion at the right time.
My sources say that Tori, in fact, had not seen her father since last September. The word is that Aaron was not aware of her divorce from first husband Charlie Shanian and quick marriage to husband No. 2, who is also the father of two from his first marriage (publicist Sasaki was unclear about this himself). Tori’s marriage to Shanian broke up when she had an affair with McDermott on the set of a Lifetime TV movie.
In the Us Weekly story, Tori says the reason for the estrangement is her mother’s friendship with a man named Mark Abramson, who introduced the Spellings to each other some 38 years ago.
There is an implied affair, which friends of the Spellings dismiss as ridiculous. Abramson is described as a kind of “walker,” a friend who’s been there for Candy with no romantic involvement. Tori’s assertion doesn’t even make sense. It’s just sort of cruel and mean.
So what’s the story here? “Tori just kept coming at Aaron for more money all the time,” says a source. “She wouldn’t do anything for herself. Candy objected to it. It’s all about money.”
Tori did wind up getting a new show post-"90210," called “So noTORIous.” It’s a reality show on VH1 in which she plays herself and Loni Anderson plays her self-centered, shopping-obsessed and hateful mother. Anderson is supposedly playing Tori’s notion of Candy.
The Us Weekly cover is perhaps the most venal and permanently divisive story I’ve ever seen concerning a celebrity family. It makes anything Patti Davis Reagan did look like kindergarten. I doubt Candy Spelling will ever speak to her daughter again, and who could blame her?
As for Tori, she and Star Jones are the losers of the week. Each of them needs lessons in manners, graciousness and spin control. Maybe they can get a group rate.